Michael Bader

It Will Take a Political Revolution to Cure the Epidemic of Depression

What causes depression and anxiety? I have been a practicing psychologist and psychoanalyst for almost 40 years and have seen hundreds of patients suffering from both. In my experience, some factors are obvious. People who suffer from depression and anxiety have experienced stresses and traumas in their development that predispose them to mood disorders. Garden-variety psychodynamic theory teaches us that issues involving loss, neglect, guilt, and rejection usually figure prominently in the backgrounds of people who present with significant symptoms of depression and anxiety.

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Going to the Heart of the Matter: Peter Gabel Argues for a Psycho-Spiritual Politics

"A human being is a part of a whole…but he experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness." —Albert Einstein

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Bruce Springsteen's Broadway Show Is Gripping

Imagine that Bruce Springsteen came to your home, sat in your living room, and told you the story of his life while serenading you with some of his most beautiful songs. That’s what it felt like at his show, Springsteen on Broadway, currently in the middle of a four-month run at the Walter Kerr Theater in New York City. For two hours, on a stage stripped bare except for some roadie crates and boxes, a brick backdrop, a single microphone stand for the Boss and his guitar, and a piano, Springsteen delivers a one-man show consisting of autobiographical stories interspersed thematically with 15 songs. It’s not a concert, and yet Springsteen’s musicality and voice—amplified in warm and full tones by Tony Award-winning sound designer Brian Ronan’s sound system—is on full display. It’s not a play, and yet Springsteen’s lines are completely scripted, often read from a teleprompter. It’s a third thing, a performance of a life story set to music.

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You Don't Need to Be a Shrink To Understand Trump's Mind

Everybody knows that Donald Trump is mentally disturbed. His mental illness is hiding in plain sight. Someone who can never admit a mistake or show remorse or guilt is unbalanced. Someone who frequently brags and demeans others is emotionally insecure and volatile. And someone who appears to lack empathy invariably has something missing inside. No one has to go out on a limb to know that these things are true.

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Pass the Salt: The Myth of the Low-Salt Diet

Pass the salt. Eat a pickle! Add more anchovies to your salad! According to a new book by James DiNicolantonio, you can freely consume salt without worrying about your blood pressure and heart. In fact, too little salt can endanger your health.

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Psychoanalyzing Donald Trump

I’m going to psychoanalyze Donald Trump. In doing so, I may seem to be violating the “Goldwater Rule,” that enjoins psychotherapists from diagnosing public figures based on secondhand information. However, I happen to agree with the consensus of a recent conference of mental health professionals at Yale University that argued mental health professionals have a “duty to warn” people about the danger posed by Trump’s mental illness. 

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How Sugar Became the Great Public Health Hazard of Our Time

It’s no news flash that corporations make money selling products that turn out to be harmful to public health, or that these corporations not only oppose government regulation but support biased scientific research that creates confusion about the harm their products are causing. The story is often the same: A company knew its product caused harm; it covered up the truth, and promoted false science in its own defense.

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The Breakdown of Empathy and the Political Right in America

In 1978, developmental psychologist Edward Tronick and his colleagues published a paper in the Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry that demonstrated the psychological importance of the earliest interactions between mothers and babies. The interactions of interest involved the playful, animated and reciprocal mirroring of each other’s facial expressions. Tronick’s experimental design was simple: A mother was asked to play naturally with her 6-month-old infant. The mother was instructed to suddenly make her facial expression flat and neutral; to remain completely still, for three minutes, regardless of her baby’s activity. Mothers were then told to resume normal play. The design came to be called the “still face paradigm.”

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Springsteen's Astounding Candor: Born to Tell the Truth

One Saturday afternoon in the early 1980s, I was home visiting my mother who lived in a small two-bedroom apartment in the wealthy community of Rumson, New Jersey. I was in my early 30s. I was walking down Bellevue Avenue, admiring the gorgeous and stately homes partially hidden behind walls and high hedges, and as I reached Ridge Road, I stopped in front of one of these mansions. I knew it belonged to my high school musical hero, Bruce Springsteen. No, unlike what Springsteen admits doing at Graceland, I did not climb the wall and try to meet my hero. I just remember looking with a longing, a nostalgic ache, desiring something I couldn’t articulate. I guess I wished I could go inside, see Bruce in his “natural state,” hang out, get close to him, or be a fly on the wall, observing what mattered to him.  

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Is Universal Basic Income a Powerful Strategy Against Job-Killing Automation? Andy Stern Thinks So

During his 15 years as president of the Service Employees International Union, Andy Stern was a controversial figure. He suffered his share of criticism from inside and outside the union. There was, however, no disputing his success in making SEIU the largest and fastest growing union in the country and a powerful political machine that was instrumental in electing President Obama and getting the Affordable Care Act passed.

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